Sharing Your Toothbrush: The Facts

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Have you ever thought that sharing or borrowing a toothbrush is probably harmless, especially if you rinse the brush off first? In reality, though, you shouldn’t share your toothbrush or ever let anyone else use your brush.

As you may know, everyone has different bacteria in their mouth. Toothbrushes can actually harbor bad bacteria, and if you share a toothbrush, you could be sharing bad bacteria. The bacteria that cause cavities are also contagious, so sharing a brush can actually leave you more vulnerable to cavities. Many toothbrushes can also harbor blood, since many individuals bleed when they brush or floss. If you use a brush with someone else’s blood on it, you could find yourself with diseases like herpes, hepatitis, and HPV. Sharing saliva can also leave you more vulnerable to yeast infections and to pneumonia.

Of course, knowing the risks of sharing a toothbrush won’t help you when you don’t have a brush available. Using your finger is one option you can consider—though doing so won’t clean your teeth as well as a toothbrush. Similarly, flossing important to continue, but won’t be enough to replace brushing completely.

If you have any questions about sharing a toothbrush, please don’t hesitate to contact Jamie P. Choi, DDS at 408-973-8500. Dr. Jamie Choi and our team will be happy to answer any questions you have. We’re eager to hear from you soon.